Iowa polling for now shows Rep. Ron Paul leading the Republican pack. Peace and justice advocates should re-examine the profound establishment demonizing of Paul’s “isolationism” and realize that the Congressman represents a genuine strain of opposition to empire – in the long tradition of populism and progressivism, Robert LaFoillette and Mark Twain.
Yes, Paul’s classic libertarianism leads him to seriously retro positions, like the right of private lunch-counter owners in the Sixties to deny service to anyone. For that reason alone, I would vote for Barack Obama over Paul in a general election.
But we are talking about Iowa here, about keeping Paul’s voice alive through the Republican primaries. Progressives and Democrats should want Barack Obama to feel compelled to pursue Ron Paul voters and organizers in the general campaign ahead. That is why many young people, independents and peace Democrats – even Occupy supporters - are considering voting in the Iowa primary for Paul.
Paul opposes the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the buildup toward war with Iran. He opposes the empire of military bases. He opposes Wall Street thievery, tax subsidies for oil companies, the suppression of WikiLeaks, the drug war and the criminalization of marijuana. Those positions might just save America.